tv Amtrak CEO Addresses National Press Club CSPAN July 13, 2017 3:25pm-3:33pm EDT
prior to taking the helm as a transition c.e.o. of amtrak he spent approximately four decades at norfolk southern corporation and its predecessor southern railway. a native of new orleans he primarily grew up in hattiesburg, mississippi, and was educated at the georgia institute of technology and harvard university. last month, he announced plans to step down from his current role, he'll have served about a year and a half when he steps down at the end of the year. he said that's longer than he
planned to. before that we invited him here to talk about amtrak's woes, customer complaints about service, the stampede at penn station where 16 people were injured, plans for what come commuters are calling the summer of hell in new york city and the needed infrastructure that the rail industry needs and being required to keep itself open and running smoothly. as of today, his announced successor, richard anderson, a former airline executive with delta airlines which is a new thing and somebody from a very different vein coming on board as an executive, where they're now co-c.e.o.'s until the end of the year where mick will quietly roll off and richard will have to put his wings down and put is rail cars on.
we're going to have questions from you all and we're going to check social media as well, we'll try to get to as many as time allows. kevin will help me sort them out, mike smith will help me sort out and i have many questions on my ipad so you can email them to me if you want to at email@example.com. if you think of one you can quietly whip out your cell phone and do that. without further ado, i want to bring to the stage, mick norman, c.e.o. of amtrak. [applause] >> thank you so much.
i have had a lot of great experiences in my career, but when i see other great people who have been at the podium this ranks with all the highlights. i'm delighted to be here. i don't tweet so i won't be stopping occasionally to put something really smart that i said out, not that i'm going to say anything smart, and the other thing i would say is that it's really, really not that much more expensive to upgrade from that quiet car into first class. think about it. we need the money. good afternoon, all. i thought i'd do three things today very quickly and try to be aware of time. so there's plenty of time to talk about what you'd like to talk about. the first is i'll give you a brief description why i'm here, why i'm doing this. this is primarily so that my wife, who may be listening, can hear it again, though i have no hope of really convincing her it was a good idea.
the second is talk a little bit about amtrak and how it came to be and what it is and equally importantly what it isn't because i think there are some number of misconceptions about what amtrak is. and then the third is to kind of bleed into then a lit bit of conversation about infrastructure which i believe is kind of the critical issue that faces not only our company but our country. in the future. so that is the plan. let me try to do that in a minimum amount of time. i'll give you a slightly different version of the introduction. i was a kid who loved trains. a lot of kids love trains. a few never gre out of it. i always say that my mother dropped me fairly early and i hit my head and this was the effect. nonetheless, that's the way i was built so i've had a remarkably great life, blessed life, in every respect. and a wonderful career,
including my time at amtrak. i was fortunate enough as you heard to get a job with the southern railway, norfolk southern predecessor back in 19 0. for those of you who were young, that was in the late paleozoic era, and just had a great career which culminated in being c.e.o. for about 10 years. i stepped down at c.e.o. in mid 2015. we moved to charlottesville, virginia which is a great place. we have our children and grandchildren all within 20 minutes. it's idyllic. it was idyllic for about a year. i was extraordinarily happy. so why on earth did i end up doing this? well, it became known that my predecessor, joe boardman, was going to be retiring and my name was being thrown around in the trade press as kind of an ideal successor, if you we i was
approached by the chairman of the board, amtrak board, tony koshev from the new york-new jersey area, they asked me about doing it, they said no. then i made a mistake, i said, i'd be happy to help. they ran a search which didn't really work very well and tony came back to me and finally convinced me to my wife's utter disgust, do it. for a little while. a little while was defined as a fairly short period of time and tony put it so eloquently the other day, i have not adhered to my contract. i'm now overrunning my allotted time. fortunately, contract adherence doesn't really matter to me because i'm not drawing any salary so there's very little to claw back. why did i do it? three reasons. as you heard, i've been in this industry a long time and i've been remarkably -- >> all of this online at c-span dirg. just sea